February 23, 2019

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03/12 Links Pt2: How the Dutch Red Cross Abetted the Nazis during World War II; Why is Kal Penn so angry?; Prince William’s visit may not be too late


From Ian:

How the Dutch Red Cross Abetted the Nazis during World War II
Last month, the president of the Netherlands’ Red Cross visited Israel to apologize formally for the organization’s conduct during the German occupation of the country. He was moved to do so by a recent book on the subject written by Regina Grüter, which assembles much evidence to prove what Dutch Jews themselves have long believed, as Ofer Aderet writes. (Free registration may be required.)

At the beginning of 1941, when the order came to stop accepting blood donations from Jews, the Dutch Red Cross accepted the decree . . . and didn’t send a protest letter. In February of that year, when 427 Jews were arrested in Amsterdam and sent to Buchenwald, the Dutch Red Cross sent a letter to the German occupying authorities wondering whether the organization was allowed to send packages to these Jews. The answer was as one would expect: it was forbidden to help Jews. The Red Cross simply accepted the order and sent aid packages only to non-Jewish Dutch political prisoners.

When in late 1941 the Germans ordered that all Jewish volunteers be dropped from the Red Cross, the group [again] followed these orders without a word. And the archives contain not one mention of any attempt to oppose these orders, or any underground attempts by the group to help Jews.

The research also didn’t uncover any evidence of discussions among the group’s leaders about the fate of the Dutch Jews. Grüter’s book leaves the impression that the Red Cross people acted as mere bureaucrats who carried out the Nazi occupiers’ orders to the letter and never tried to make things hard for the Germans—in clear violation of their role as aid workers. . . . “They weren’t anti-Semites, they were simply neutral,” Grüter says.

Elliott Abrams: At Long Last, “The Crown” Will Visit Israel

Seventy years after Israel’s founding, at long last a member of the British royal family will visit there. The summer visit of the Duke of Cambridge, HRH Prince William, has been announced.

This visit is remarkable for only one reason: that there has been no such visit before. Prince Charles attended the funerals of Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin, and Prince Philip made an equally brief visit one time to see his mother’s grave site. Neither was an “official visit,” because such a horrible event was simply not acceptable to the Foreign Office. The change is important. As the great historian Andrew Roberts wrote,

Royal visits have always been a central plank of Britain’s diplomacy over the centuries, and this one is a statement that Israel is no longer going to be treated like the pariah nation it so long has been by the Foreign Office. It is no therefore coincidence that although Her Majesty the Queen has made over 250 official overseas visits to 129 different countries during her reign, neither she nor one single member of the British royal family has ever yet been to Israel on an official visit.

Why now? There are various theories. One is that Prince Charles was the wrong royal to send (see this Spectator story for one of the theories as to why) and time had to pass until someone in the next generation could do it. Another theory is that the Foreign Office simply could no longer maintain the claim that a visit would sour relations with the Arab states when those states are improving their own relations with Israel. Finally it has been argued that the Foreign Office and royal refusal (and it is not clear whether the “no” was over the years really from the bureaucrats or the royals, or both) was based on Zionist violence against British colonial administrators in the pre-1948 years of the Palestinian mandate. That obstacle would seem very odd when the Queen in 2012 was willing to shake the hand of Martin McGuinness, who had been a very senior IRA commander leader in 1979 when the IRA killed Lord Mountbatten, to whom she was close and who was Prince Philip’s uncle.

Andrew Roberts is right: this visit is praiseworthy because it treats Israel as a normal nation. In that sense it is very much in line with President Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, acknowledging that it has the right every other nation has to choose its capital city, and the American effort at the United Nations system to stop the unfair and unequal treatment of Israel. Seventy years is a long time to wait for normal treatment, and of course Israel is far from achieving it even now. But these steps are symbolic of real progress.

Prince William’s visit may not be too late

The British Foreign Office has its own reasons for sending Prince William to visit Israel. The prince himself is only an excuse. The visit is not intended to boost the young man himself or the Royal Family as a whole, nor to showcase Israel on its 70th anniversary. The real aim is to get Britain back in the engine room of Middle East and world politics. Not necessarily a bad idea in itself, but an exercise in cynicism and humbug. I hope it is not too late.

Britain seems to be feeling increasingly fragile on the world scene. If the British government had been smart it could have claimed a special status in the Middle East by virtue of its (sometimes tortuous) role in 19th and 20th century Zionism, and one might have thought its vaunted friendship with Israel could have been given expression before this. There may be reason to fear that Britain has abdicated to the US the role of special friend.

Many Israelis still need convincing that Britain really is a friend. Those with long memories cannot forget the Mandate period. When my late parents-in-law made aliya in 1965 and said they were from London they saw Israelis physically flinch. Possibly most Israelis today think this is just history and prefer to accentuate the more positive attitudes of Arthur James Balfour and Winston Churchill, but this still does not justify the lack of official visits by British royals. The British way of showing friendship is to send the royals on a visit. They have had sixty-odd years to do this during the queen’s incumbency but the Foreign Office kept dithering – or worse, sneering and using bad language about the Jews.

Over the years there could have been some official fence-mending, but now it will be harder. The queen might have been able to charm Israel but she is no longer so young and energetic after more than 65 years on the throne, making her the longest-serving British monarch. She will presumably keep going until the day she dies. Few people share her concern for dogs and horses, nor is she a warm everyone’s-grandmother type. But she is part of the marketing, like Big Ben and the Thames. She is part of the ethos that makes Britain interesting.

Why is Kal Penn so angry?

An interesting media report caught my eye last week: “Actor Kal Penn, a former aide in Barack Obama’s White House, wants fellow Democrat Chuck Schumer ‘out of office’ after the Senate Democratic Leader delivered a pro-Israel speech in Washington this week.” Penn is known as a comedy actor (Harold and Kumar) but his reaction to Schumer’s remarks was not funny at all. It was exceptionally aggressive and astonishingly ignorant.

In reaction to Schumer’s “pro-Israel” speech, Penn tweeted the following: “New York is a beautiful state with incredible people from so many faiths & backgrounds. Instead of using his office to bring people together & really make a difference, @SenSchumer is making speeches to divide us. Looking forward to the day he’s out of office – Kal Penn (@kalpenn)” What happened that got the worst out of him to the point he welcomes the political demise of one of his own party’s main leaders? What did Schumer say to deserve this wrath? Where is Penn coming from? How could Schumer’s support of Israel be more important to Penn than his leading role in opposing President Donald Trump? Schumer’s fault was that he simply stated the facts.

Whether Penn likes it or not, the fact is that the Palestinians foolishly and habitually rejected all three major opportunities to bring about a territorial solution to the conflict: they rejected the Clinton proposal in Camp David in 2000, prime minister Ariel Sharon’s Gaza pullout in 2005 was answered with a barrage of 14,000(!) rockets and, finally, in 2008 a total dismissal of prime minister Ehud Olmert’s far-reaching proposal.

If Penn does not trust Senator Schumer’s memory, all he need do is read the memoirs of two-term Democratic president Bill Clinton about the Camp David Summit of 2000. If this is not enough, he is more than welcome to read Dennis Ross’ account of the Camp David negotiations and the Palestinian rejection.

Jews agree that Farrakhan is anti-Semitic. After that, it gets complicated.

Both have unequivocally condemned Louis Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism. Both say that fighting anti-Semitism is a necessary part of the broader struggle against bigotry and oppression. Both seek to build alliances with other minority groups in that fight.

So an alliance would seem natural between the Anti-Defamation League, a legacy organization fighting anti-Semitism and bigotry, and IfNotNow, a relatively new grassroots group organizing young left-wing Jews.

But in its statement criticizing Farrakhan’s bigotry, IfNotNow also slammed the ADL. The group rejected Farrakhan’s bigotry and called on leaders of the Women’s March, some of whom support Farrakhan, to do more to combat anti-Semitism. And it criticized the ADL at length for not focusing enough on far-right anti-Semitism.

“It is unsettling to see how often the ADL and others criticize Black and Muslim activists and politicians for any association with Farrakhan,” the statement read. “That the ADL and other Jewish leaders undermining the Women’s March fail to understand that the true threat to our community today is the rise of white nationalism is a galling moral failure.”

The fire from IfNotNow toward the ADL is emblematic of a split in how Jewish groups across the spectrum are responding to anti-Semitism.

Left-wing activists say focusing on anti-Semitism in their camp is a distraction from right-wing anti-Semites who they say have received succor from President Donald Trump.

Jews on the right, meanwhile, say the biggest threat to Jewish interests is anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism on the left. They are using the renewed focus on Farrakhan to demand retribution for his former allies.

NGO Monitor: Singling Out Israel While Whitewashing Terrorism: Watchlist’s 2018 Policy Note

  • In March 2018, the NGO umbrella group known as Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict (Watchlist) published a Policy Note urging the UN Secretary General to add Israel, Myanmar, and others to a list of “grave violators” of children’s rights. Terror groups, including Hamas and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), are not mentioned in Watchlist’s publication.
  • Watchlist’s methodology fails to meet basic requirements for human rights reports, instead claiming to rely on “all publicly available reports related to grave violations against children in 25 relevant country situations in 2017.” There is no information on how the credibility of these reports are evaluated, if at all, and on criteria for including or excluding sources.
  • Many of the NGO participants have a history of bias against Israel, including Human Rights Watch (HRW), which coordinates this particular campaign.
  • In the section on Israel, Watchlist relies almost exclusively on a Palestinian NGO, Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P) – a group with no credibility that fails to meet Watchlist’s own source requirements of “reputable international nongovernmental organization.” DCI-P has close links to the PFLP – designated as a terrorist organization by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel. Numerous DCI-P staff and board members are hailed by the PFLP as “commanders” and/or “leaders.”
  • In its analysis of alleged Israeli grave violations, Watchlist claims that 13 minors (some of whom while in the process of carrying out terror attacks) were killed by Israeli forces in 2017, listing this under the grave violation of “killing and maiming.” In comparison, Watchlist lists “533 verified child casualties” in Syria, “several hundred Rohuungya villagers” (including children) in Myanmar, at least 64 children killed in the Congo. Despite the gross disparity, the IDF gets far more attention in the Watchlist Policy Note than any other country or army/armed group.

Daphne Anson: Stephen Sizer Goes Down Under

From the man who gave us this, screenshot by yours truly

Yes, our old friend the ex-vicar of Virginia Water, CEO of Peacemaker Mediators, so-called, will come amongst his antipodean faithful at last.

Balmain Uniting Church would appear to be a typical leftist-hijacked Protestant church of which there are many like examples in the English-speaking world. The Uniting Church in Australia (an amalgam of Methodists and Presbyerians, but not all Presbyterians) has long been known for its antipathy to Israel.

I’ll follow these developments with interest!

You’ll notice that enquiries are to be addressed to Father Dave of the Anglican Holy Trinity Church in Sydney’s Dulwich Hill, who’s on record as declaring:
“Al Quds Day is a day when God brings us together … an intrinsically religious event”

PreOccupiedTerritory: We Make Sure The Number Of Buns And Franks Don’t Match. We’re The Mossad. By the Mossad (satire)

Ever wonder why you always seem to have a different number of Tupperware containers from the number of lids? Or why hot dogs come in packages of 12 but hot dog buns come in packages of 8? Well, wonder no more. We’re the ones behind it. We’re the Mossad.

If you thought we focused only on major international threats, you’ve got a another think coming. We took care of those larger tasks decades ago, freeing up our agents and budget to focus on smaller nuisances: anti-Israel activists who could use to have one shoe go missing; traffic lights that seem to skip a cycle when you’re late for work; and girlfriends who skip a cycle when the last thing you want is to be a father.

In some ways, engineering life’s petty frustrations poses more of a challenge than overthrowing third-word governments or taking control of elections in ostensibly democratic countries. Back when we made the switch from full-time deep-state operations to full-time annoy-haters operations, agent morale took a beating. But we weathered the storm as our operatives grew to take disproportionate pleasure from messing up the kerning on signs or causing phantom hairs to tickle your face and ears.

It’s been a while since our last major operation on a global scale to take down governments; we put the finishing touches long ago on the system that now makes the global powers do our bidding at the tough of a button or a discreet phone call. 9/11 wasn’t us – we let the CIA handle that. It was their idea, anyway. Was nice of them to warn all the Jews not to come to work that day. Wouldn’t make sense to get on our bad side.

Google under fire for anti-Semitic search results in Sweden

Google on Monday said it was taking measures to address criticism against the internet giant for allowing the spread of anti-Semitic propaganda through various search results, which had triggered outrage in Sweden.

A search on Google for the Holocaust showed an anti-Semitic blog post high up containing information about Jews who currently live in Sweden. With their names, pictures and occupations listed, dozens of them were described in a humiliating and threatening manner, according to local media.

Searches for the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement’s propaganda website also appeared as news with “top stories from Nordfront.se,” as seen on searches for media organizations, Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter reported.

“We are aware of this and are taking measures,” Farshad Shadloo, spokesman at Google in Sweden, told AFP, without providing any details.

Dagens Nyheter reported that the company has adjusted its algorithms to change this specific news search function.

“Sometimes, search results that both we and users find offensive can show up. But there are also concerns about suppressing material based on personal opinion,” Google’s Sweden branch said on Twitter.

“We must, like everyone else, comply with the law.”

Haaretz Corrects About East Jerusalem Arabs’ Voting Rights

CAMERA’s Israel office last week prompted correction of a March 8 Haaretz article which had incorrectly stated: “Jerusalem’s Palestinians have no right to vote for the Knesset.”

In fact, Jerusalem Palestinians with Israeli citizenship do have the right to vote in the Knesset. As a March 18, 2015 New York Times correction stated:

Following communication from CAMERA, Haaretz editors corrected the online edition, which now acknowledges that those east Jerusalem Arabs with Israeli citizenship can vote for the Knesset. The revised wording notes that “93 percent of Jerusalem’s Palestinians have no right to vote for the Knesset.”

Hamas agitprop requires BBC journalists to brush up on UN resolution

Apparently the organisers of that agitprop intended to employ antisemitic Nazi analogy.

“According to information on the Facebook page of “the great march of the return,” in preparation for the event the organizers need clothing like the striped suits worn by the inmates of the Nazi concentration camps. Anyone who could provide such suits, or sew them, was asked to contact the march’s coordinating committee. The organizers are apparently going to present a display comparing the Palestinians to the victims of the Nazis.”

The project’s logo includes a reference to UN GA resolution 194 of December 1948.
“The new logo shows the UN logo and the number 194, which relates to UN General Assembly Resolution 194 […], a map of “Palestine” in the colors of the Palestinian flag, with no reference to the existence of the State of Israel; a hand holding a key, the symbol of the so-called right of the Palestinian refugees to return to the places they lived in 70 years ago.”

Any BBC journalist intending to cover this propaganda campaign should of course be aware of the fact that Resolution 194 is non-binding, that it does not specifically relate to Palestinian refugees (despite long-standing BBC claims to that effect) and – contrary to often heard assertions – neither does it grant any unconditional ‘right of return’. Rather, it recommends that refugees be allowed to return to their homeland if they wish to “live at peace with their neighbours”. Also worth remembering is the fact that the Arab states voted against that UN GA resolution.

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – February 2018

In Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem the agency recorded 121 attacks with petrol bombs, nine attacks using improvised explosive devices, two shooting attacks, two stabbing attacks and four arson attacks. Also recorded were four separate incidents of missile fire, five shooting attacks and one IED attack from the Gaza Strip.

One civilian was murdered in a stabbing attack near Ariel on February 5th which was reported by the BBC. Nine people – one civilian and eight members of the security forces – were wounded throughout February.

An IED attack on the Gaza border in which four soldiers were wounded was reported by the BBC and one of the four missile attacks from the Gaza Strip which took place during February was mentioned in the same article. The three additional missile attacks did not receive any coverage.

Other incidents which did not receive any coverage on the BBC News website include an attack on a civilian motorist in Abu Dis on February 2nd and a stabbing attack in Karmei Tzur on February 7th.

In all, the BBC News website reported 2% of the terror attacks that took place during February 2018. Since the beginning of the year the BBC has reported 1.5% of the attacks and 100% of the fatalities. Just one of the six separate incidents of rocket and mortar fire from the Gaza Strip that have taken place since the beginning of the year has been mentioned in BBC coverage.

London soccer club fan filmed singing ‘gas them all’ at match

Footage has emerged of an Arsenal fan singing a sickening anti-Semitic chant.

The video – which was sent to the Jewish News by a fan – was filmed shortly before the Gunners’ Europa League match against Italian side AC Milan in Italy on Thursday evening. The clip followed the man on his way to the match, as he sung the vile chant, which included: “gas them all”.

The fan, who wished to remain anonymous said he’s reported the incident to the club, adding: “I would unhappily say that this is the worst piece of football-related racial hatred I have ever seen.”

A spokesman for Action Against Discrimination, a charity set up to combat racism in football, said: “In the light of anti-Semitic abuse reported by Robert Preston, the anti-Semitism task force established by Roman Abramovich, numerous and ongoing reports of recent claims of racism in football stadiums, the problem goes on unabated. This – Arsenal fans continuing to chant anti-Semitic songs at football matches – is merely the latest example.

“Once again, we implore the relevant bodies to look at this [latest example] and to take swift and appropriate action.”

Marcin Zych banned from driving, fined £250 and ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work for shouting “You f***ing Jew” at another motorist

Marcin Zych has pleaded guilty to three driving offences and two charges of causing racially or religiously aggravated harassment, alarm and distress for shouting “You f***ing Jew” at another motorist following a road accident in Craven Park Road in North London in January.

On 14th February, Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court fined Mr Zych £250, ordered him to pay court costs and £50 in compensation to his victim, sentenced him to 100 hours of compulsory unpaid community work and disqualified him from holding or obtaining a driving licence for 18 months, but offered him a 4-month reduction in the period of disqualification if he satisfactorily completes a government-approved course.

In January, Mr Zych was seen driving erratically before turning down a cul-de-sac where he crashed his car and shouted “You f***ing Jew” at another motorist. He was prevented from leaving the scene by Stamford Hill Shomrim, a Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol, until police officers arrived to arrest him on suspicion of drunk driving and antisemitic abuse.

Austria remembers Anschluss, with far right now in power

With a party founded by ex-Nazis back in government, Austria marked the 80th anniversary of its annexation by Adolf Hitler’s Germany on Monday with greater public self-examination than usual.

Hitler sent troops into Austria, the land of his birth, on March 12, 1938, in pursuit of his dream of a “Greater Germany.” They were greeted by cheering crowds who waved swastika flags and made the Nazi salute.

For decades after World War Two, Austria presented itself as the first victim of Nazism. While that official position has changed and now stresses the need for Austria to accept responsibility, there is still far less public discussion and commemoration of that chapter of its history than in Germany.

The anniversary also coincides with the advent of a new conservative-led coalition government in Vienna that includes the anti-immigration Freedom Party (FPO), founded by former Nazis in the 1950s.

“Austrians were not only victims but also perpetrators, often in positions of leadership,” President Alexander Van der Bellen told a ceremony that included ministers from both Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s conservative party and the FPO.

Macedonia observes 75th anniversary of Jewish deportation

Thousands of people marched in southern Macedonia on Sunday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the deportation and eventual death of almost the country’s entire Jewish population.

Public officials, civic group representatives and relatives of former Macedonian Jews who came from Israel, Latin America and the United States participated in the event in the city of Bitola and lay flowers and wreaths at a Jewish monument.

Macedonia was a province of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia when it was occupied by Germany during World War II and then turned over to the Nazis’ Bulgarian allies to run. More than 7,000 Jews from the cities of Skopje, Bitola and Stip were confined to ghettos in March 1943 before being deported to the Nazis’ Treblinka death camp in German-occupied Poland, where 98% of Macedonia’s Jews perished. Bitola lost its entire Jewish community of 3,144.

The International March of the Living, the official name of the commemoration, started in front of the monument to deported Jews, with wailing sirens signaling the start. People joined in the march along the same route that Jews were forced to take 75 years ago to the train station, where they were jammed into freight cars for the trip to the death camp.

Hundreds of Poles gather to express solidarity with Jews

Hundreds of Poles gathered on Sunday in Warsaw to express their solidarity with Jews who perished in the Holocaust, were expelled from Poland 50 years ago, or feel targeted by a new wave of anti-Semitism today.

Speakers at the demonstration denounced policies of the current Polish government that have led to a dispute with Israel and sparked a wave of anti-Semitic rhetoric.

They gathered late in the afternoon at the Gdanski train station, the departure point for thousands of Poles of Jewish descent who were forced to leave the country in March 1968 by the communist regime of the time.

The rally was part of a larger initiative by Polish civic groups that also published an open letter describing the government policies as “radical and inappropriate.”

From cricket protein to super sugar

Some start-up companies are quietly finding new ideas to change the way we think, produce, and eat food. Their goals vary. Some want to make the food we eat safer, some want to make it more nutritious, others want to make it environmentally sustainable. Israel, its northern region of the Galilee in particular, is shaping up to become a new hub for these start-ups. There may be few of them, but the solutions they’re serving are turning heads among investors and companies from overseas.

One, called Inno-Bev, has created a plant-based drink that keeps El-Al pilots awake during long flights. Another one, SuperMeat, develops lab-made chicken meat, has raised $3 million, and it’s only in its seed phase of funding. To respond to the needs of this emerging community of innovators, in 2015 the Strauss Group opened in the city of Ashdod The Kitchen, an incubator for food-tech start-ups.

Many food-tech companies are busy researching new proteins. The demand for alternative protein sources has skyrocketed, and experts have been looking for them virtually everywhere.

Dror Tamir, co-founder and CEO of Hargol, found proteins in grasshoppers. Lots of proteins. Together with his business partner Chanan Aviv, who’d been working on insect breeding for 30 years, Tamir began growing several species of grasshoppers in a garage in 2014. Today, he runs the world’s first commercial farm producing grasshoppers.

Smart road stud system will make driving safer

Just as skin is the body’s largest organ, roads are the earth’s largest infrastructure, covering a total of 30 million kilometers (8 million miles) worldwide.

And yet only 4 percent of the world’s roads are outfitted with sensors to convey critical data such as traffic patterns, hazardous conditions, driver behavior and accidents. That’s because it costs about $3 million per mile today to make roads “smart.”

“When it comes to data, roads are the final frontier. The main problem is the need for very expensive communication cables, cameras, patrols and control centers,” says Gabriel Jacobson, CEO of Valerann an Israeli and British company whose cloud-based road digitization system aims to change all that by slashing current costs by as much as 90%.

Israeli researchers develop infrared film for smartphones, self-driving cars

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev say they have developed low-cost infrared sensors that can be used to create the world’s thinnest night-vision glasses as well as revolutionize smartphones and self-driving cars.

Prof. Gabby Sarusi, faculty member in the Unit of Electro-Optical Engineering and the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, has developed a stamp-like device of which one side reads 1,500-nanometer infrared wavelengths, and converts them to images that are visible to the human eye on the other side of the stamp. This stamp — basically a film that is half a micron in thickness — is composed of nano-metric layers, nano-columns and metal foil, which transform infrared images into visible images.

The film can be put in front of normal glasses or telescopes, Sarusi said, transforming them into infrared devices. Or it can be placed onto simple vision sensors, transforming them into infrared sensors with the ability to see objects that the human eye cannot.

The technology could help replace the heavy night goggles used by soldiers with lightweight, low-power consumption glasses, he said. The technology relies upon nanotech and physics, with the only electronic component being a small battery, he said.

But there are wider and even more interesting applications to the technology, Sarusi said — for example, in the area of autonomous cars. Such a device could be used on sensors for autonomous cars to improve vision, by converting infrared light into visible light and allowing better vision in fog and darkness.

Israel Provides Generators to Earthquake-Devastated Papua New Guinea

In the wake of a devastating earthquake in Papua New Guinea, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) has delivered 40 electricity generators to affected communities.

The generators were delivered on March 8 by Pacific Islands Adviser at the Israeli Embassy in Australia Yaron Sultan-Dadon.

On February 26, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake left 100 people dead and cut off electricity to 150,000. Israel was one of the first countries to send aid. On March 8, the country was rocked by a 6.8 magnitude aftershock.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neall thanked Israel for its friendship and support. “Relations between Papua New Guinea and the State of Israel are strong, and our government and the people of PNG appreciate the support and friendship of Israel during these challenging times,” O’Neall said. “We look forward to further cooperation and the enhancement of the close ties between our countries and our peoples.”

Digital Diabetes Clinic adopted in India uses Israeli tech

India has been described as the diabetes capital of the world. More than 69 million Indians are currently living with diabetes and the number is expected to climb to 79.4 million by 2030.

To help manage the treatment of this staggering number of patients, Apollo Hospitals Group’s nationwide chain of Apollo Sugar diabetes clinics in India is integrating Israeli digital diabetes platform GlucoMe into its home-care program.

“For the first time in India, the diabetes clinic is walking into someone’s house,” said Dr. Prathap C. Reddy, chairman of Apollo Hospitals Group.

Hundreds of thousands of Apollo Sugar patients will receive an Apollo Diabetes Home-Care Kit that includes GlucoMe’s insulin pen monitor and patented wireless blood-glucose monitor, which automatically records blood-glucose measurements and insulin intakes.

UK Science minister: collaborating with Israel is a ‘strategic priority’

Sam Gyimah shakes hands and sits down in a dull side-room at the British Council near the Mall, having just told a roomful of VIPs that Israeli and British scientists are to work together on diseases associated with ageing.

Short, studious and smartly dressed, this is the new 41-year old Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Development who knows that Israel is pretty hot in all these areas. What follows is an interesting 20 minutes.

Born in the UK, Gyimah spent ten years growing up in Ghana, before returning to England to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) at Oxford University, becoming President of Oxford Union. From there he joined Goldman Sachs before setting up his own recruitment company. So far, so future Tory leader.

In his 30s he entered politics and became a Government whip in 2013, around the time British and Israeli scientists first began collaborating through the BIRAX partnership, starting in regenerative medicine. Listening to him, it’s clear science and technology are interests of his, but only when he took over from Jo Johnson in January did they become part of his brief.

He says he signed a memorandum of understanding l in the UK with his opposite number three weeks ago, and plans to visit later this year “to deepen our collaboration not just in scientific research but in innovation and opportunities that are mutually beneficial for high-growth business.”

So, beyond the lab, then? “We’re looking across the board at how we can do more with Israel,” he says. “Collaboration with Israel is something we want to build on as a strategic priority.”

Dennis Prager: Why Christians Support Israel

In speeches to fellow Jews around America, I often point out that many American Jews are experiencing cognitive dissonance. The institution Jews most admire — the university — turns out to be the most significant source of Israel hatred in America and the rest of the West. At the same time, the people many Jews most distrust — Christians (especially evangelical and other conservative Christians) — turn out to be the Jews’ and Israel’s best friends.

Given that these two facts are undeniable, how do many American Jews deal with this dissonance? They largely ignore the Israel hatred on campuses, and they dismiss the authenticity of the Christian support. They dismiss it by denying it is genuine. Christians who support Israel, they (and non-Jews on the left) argue, do so for two deceptive reasons.

One is they seek to convert Jews.

That Christians seek to convert non-Christians is, of course, true. The primary aim of Christianity, after all, is to spread belief in Christ. But why would anyone think supporting Israel will convert Jews? Does anyone think that Christians who support Israel’s enemies are making Muslims convert to Christianity? The fact is there isn’t a shred of evidence that Jews have converted to Christianity, because of Christian support for Israel. Indeed, the Jews who most support Israel are either the most religious or the most strongly identifying secular Jews. Neither is a candidate for conversion.

Another way Christian support for Israel is belittled is by claiming that Christians support Israel in order to hasten the Second Coming of Jesus. But pastor John Hagee, head of Christians United for Israel, the largest pro-Israel organization in America, has said countless times nothing a Christian can do will hasten the return of Jesus; only God will decide when that happens — and in His own good time.

Einstein violin sells for over $500k at New York auction

A violin once owned by Albert Einstein was sold at a New York auction house over the weekend for $516,500.

The instrument was sold for more than three times its catalog estimate of $150,000.

According to a report in string instrument magazine The Strad on Monday, the violin was gifted to Einstein by a member of the Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) Symphony Orchestra upon his arrival in the US in 1933.

The famed physicist was known for his love of the instrument, which he had been playing regularly since age 6.

Einstein later passed the instrument on to the son of a janitor at Princeton University, where he was a resident scholar. The violin had remained with the family ever since.

Last week a letter penned by the Nobel Prize winner in which he discussed one of his groundbreaking theories sold in Jerusalem for over $100,000 as part of a trove of documents that went under the hammer.

Is a Disneyland theme park coming to Israel?

Are Mickey and Minnie Mouse coming to Israel?

Not quite, but the Negev city of Dimona is in the “advanced stages” of planning a Disneyland-like theme park, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The “Park of Wonders” is slated to have a similar layout to Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Florida, but with Jewish and Israeli themes.

US entrepreneurs have been in contact with officials in Israel in recent months about the development of the amusement park, Channel 10 News reported on Monday night.

“We are very good at many things in Israel – hi-tech, medicine – I think it is also time for us to be good at something that is fun and enjoyable,” Lea Malul, CEO of the theme park project at Plaim (Wonders), the organization behind the initiative, told the Post. Promotional video for the “Park of Wonders” (Youtube/Effective video productions)

Plans for the park are already drawn up, designed by the same company that planned Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Malul said.

In its initial stage, the park will sit on some 25 hectares (60 acres) of land at the entrance to Dimona and will include five “worlds,” each with four or five rides. The “worlds” will be called Oasis, World of Spirits, World of the Jewish Nation, World of Society and the World of Time.

“The park will have the same rides and the same layout [as Disney World] but with content,” Malul explained. “It will be 90% fun and 10% content.”

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